Fourteen people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with a massive cocaine, heroin and oxycodone trafficking operation in Lewiston/Auburn.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said in a press release that 11 of the 14 were arrested Friday morning. The other three were already in custody related to separate charges.

Each made their initial appearance in federal court in Portland on Friday.

They are:

  • Tasheem Carter, 29, of Far Rockaway, New York and Lewiston, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and oxycodone;
  • Christian Dent, 31, of Far Rockaway, New York and Lewiston, for conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Sabree Branch, 23, of Philadelphia and Lewiston, for use of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession of cocaine base, and unlawful use of a communication facility.
  • Michael Boney, 28, of Far Rockaway, New York and Auburn, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base.
  • Isar Coleman, 31, of Lewiston, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.
  • Angela Crabtree, 32, of Auburn, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base.
  • Katelynn Dubois, 21, of Wales, for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.
  • Lee Eirby, 66, of Lewiston, for maintaining a drug-involved premises.
  • Isaac Fofie, 26, of New Sharon, for conspiracy to distribute heroin and distribution of heroin.
  • Kourtney Francoeur, 21, of Lewiston, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.
  • Jamel Hamilton, of Far Rockaway, New York, for conspiracy to distribute heroin.
  • Willie Jackson, 32, of Lewiston, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base.
  • Rebecca Thompson, 33, of Lewiston, for conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.
  • Barney Whitfield, 33, of Lewiston, for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and heroin.

The arrests were the result of a joint investigation by numerous local, state and federal agencies, including the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Southern Maine Gang Task Force, which is made up of officers from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to affidavits released on four of those charged, officials monitored text messages between members of group, recorded phone calls and used confidential informants or cooperating defendants to gather evidence against the 14. The affidavits indicate that the investigation began early last year, but was largely conducted in late November and early December.

For instance, in late November, an FBI agent said he saw a text message to Carter in which another person appears to offer to trade a gun with a 33-round magazine to Carter in exchange for drugs. A gun with a large-capacity magazine was later seized by federal agents when they interrupted a planned meeting, an affidavit said.

Beyond the affidavits, the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not release additional information but a press conference about the operation has been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 20, at the Lewiston Police Department.

Staff Writer Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell